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Pros and cons of oligarchy

The term “oligarchy” originated from the “oligarchic” Greek word, meaning few governing. A small number of individuals in charge of a company, institution, or state is known as an oligarchy. Within that particular civilization, these people have the authority to dominate everyone else. An oligarchy resembles a class of nobility with a royal family as a form of administration. In a corporate setting, it could appear that a family retains total influence over the Board of Directors.

The advantage of an oligarchy is that it concentrates power in the hands of one dominant group. So that everyone else may focus on their jobs, their families, or achieving their objectives, this group can concentrate on meeting the day-to-day necessities of society. Because they are not part of the ruling elite, the typical citizen need not be concerned with governing.

History has shown us that an oligarchy tends to be oppressive because it is exclusive. It depends on oppression or widespread acceptance for it to continue to exist. It is a system where the minority, not the majority, has the power to make decisions.

8 Pros of Oligarchy:

1. Power is concentrated in the hands of the experts.
2. minimises social pressures.
3. An oligarchy is open to everyone.
4. An oligarchy is not biassed on a gender basis.
5. An Oligarchy Appreciates a Conservative Approach.
6. Increase in innovation.
7. The Oligarchy Functions as a Representative.
8. Motivation for Kindness.

8 Cons of Oligarchy:

1. Persistent internal biases.
2. It minimises diversity.
3. An oligarchy is prone to violence and protests.
4. Economic dominance.
5. An oligarchy can be established anywhere.
6. division within society.
7. Disrupt the economy.
8. Does Not Result in Real Leaders.

You can check out some of the pros and cons in detail below.

Pros of Oligarchy | Advantages of Oligarchy

1. Power is consolidated with those who have expertise.

Those with the most skills and experience are given the most power because they are the best at what they do. Before being awarded a position of authority, they may spend decades perfecting their art. The extensive training required enables businesses or governments to operate effectively.

2. It reduces societal pressures.

If it is a lawful activity within an oligarchy, the general public is free to do anything they choose. Teams may concentrate on finishing tasks while utilising their creative abilities. Families can develop bonds with one another. People can pursue certain personal or professional objectives. When it functions properly, the oligarchy handles social problems while people take care of themselves and their families.

3. It encourages creative endeavours.

The individual may concentrate on their creativity rather than fretting about the “what ifs” in life since an oligarchy is focused on fixing the everyday difficulties that could bother the government or an organization. They could have more time to pursue athletics as a result. They might concentrate on developing novel concepts or technology. Also, they might focus on artistic endeavours like writing or painting.

4. It encourages a conservative approach.

A fundamental objective of an oligarchy is to keep things as they are. This implies that the oligarchy’s populace as a whole may be confident in their course of action. Under a true oligarchy, it would be difficult for a single leader to steer a company or the government towards riskier endeavours since doing so would upset the status quo for everyone in that community.

5. It still allows anyone to join.

A true oligarchy also understands that the individuals with the highest talents should be in control, despite attempts to consolidate power and restrict access to itself. It implies that anybody has the opportunity to become a member of the ruling class, particularly in terms of business. The premise is that success is possible if you put in enough effort and study for a long enough period. Even when access is limited, there is still optimism, and that promotes society’s advancement.

6. Powerful positions are open to women.

In an oligarchy, a person’s eligibility to occupy office is typically determined by their membership in the ruling class, which is made up of rich individuals. Therefore, if women belong to this class, they have the opportunity and ability to work for the government, which is very rare in other political systems, like the Middle Eastern theocracy.

Cons of Oligarchy | Disadvantages of Oligarchy

1. It encourages income inequality.

An oligarchy can exist without a ruling class, but when one exists, wealth tends to favour the rulers rather than the workers. This occurs because people in the ruling case can distribute money to themselves due to their influence over the social structures, laws, and methods of policy execution. As a result, there are fewer possibilities for others since oligarchs know they may always seize the first chance that presents itself.

2. It inhibits growth over time.

The status quo is preserved under an oligarchy because it best protects the position of the ruling elite. Although this may offer stability, it also means that the governing elite is rarely exposed to fresh ideas. Humans are conditioned to have similar ideals. The experiences of the ruling elite are frequently similar. It indicates that the ruling class has a shockingly low level of diversity, which will inevitably impede their ability to flourish over time.

3. It can disrupt the economy.

If people believe they have no chance to participate in an oligarchy, they get irritated with it. The ruling class gets angry when they believe that the people are no longer loyal. There’s a chance that the two viewpoints will clash and start a major dispute. If this occurs, the conflict will cause the economy to be disrupted. There will always be misery and pain in war.

4. It can be restrictive.

An oligarchy that can amass a sizable amount of power can exert a significant economic impact. The activities of the ruling oligarchy might impose restrictions on the free market. The oligarchy might set prices, grant favours to particular groups, or restrict the resources accessible to the general populace. The rules of supply and demand are broken, which can cause even more significant harm to the majority while benefiting the minority.

5. It creates puppet leaders.

The individuals around the leader have real power in an oligarchy, not the leadership itself. A weak leader often solidifies their authority under oligarchy-focused regimes to maintain control. They achieve this by enhancing the influence of people they respect. The remaining members of the organisation will continue to have authority when that leader steps down. A puppet leader is frequently chosen to represent the organization to keep up appearances.

Since 1979, economic inequality in the US has increased significantly. Compared to the remaining 99% of earnings, the income levels of the wealthiest 1% of Americans have increased by 400%. The richest 0.1% of income received 67% of the overall increase. These people travel in similar social circles, serve on the same Board of Directors, and send their kids to the same schools.

This list of advantages and disadvantages of oligarchy makes it easier to spot instances in which a minority tries to usurp power from the majority. The ability to fight its creation, whether it takes place in business or government, is made possible by this understanding.

Explore more information:

  1. Pros and Cons of Democracy
  2. Pros and Cons of Theocracy
  3. Pros and Cons of Monarchy
  4. Pros and cons of Aristocracy
  5. Pros and cons of parliamentary democracy
  6. Pros and cons of Direct Democracy

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Divya Chauhan
Divya Chauhan is an expert writer with 10+ years of experience as a content writer. They specialize in making complex topics like IT, Health, and general topic easy to understand. Divya has written over thousands of articles to help people with their content. Prior to joining Way2benefits’s editorial team in 2020, Divya worked as a Professor of BCA college and freelancer blogger.